CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) National Drug Take Back events have become a popular option for people to dispose of unused or expired medications. Experts say having those expired medicines around your home could be putting your family at risk.
“We know that 9 in 10 childhood poisonings happen at home with a prescription medication,” said Dr. Susan Bisset, President of the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute.
The group is offering free kits that people can use to dispose of medications safely at home.
“We get requests every day for medication disposal kits. Sometimes people will just want one. Sometimes people will want several because unfortunately maybe someone has passed and they have a lot of medication to get rid of or someone has had a surgery and they no longer need that medication,” Bisset explained.
The kits contain packets that can be mixed with water and added to the pill bottles making disposal safer.
“We know that a lot of people that unfortunately are using illicit drugs started with a prescription medication and most people started with a prescription that was either theirs or belonged to a family member or friend,” she said. “So it is really important that when people are not using medications or they are expired that you get them out of the home.”
The group also has an educational outreach program using the character Rex the RX for kids starting in Pre-K to teach them to stay away from medications unless there is an adult helping them. Last year their outreach efforts reached close to 40,000 families in West Virginia.
“Just talking to people about getting rid of unused or expired medications in the home. Often we are well-intended and want to hold onto them just in case but that can be very, very dangerous,” Bisset said.